Our children insist we have a favorite child. I’ve explained countless times that there is no such thing. I’ve tried sharing that I, too, used to think my parents had a favorite, but now that I’m a parent… yada yada yada (they stop listening).
My husband’s favorite line is to tell one of our kids that they are “Top Ten.”
We have ten kids.
Now our lovely children enjoy debating who is in the Top Five. Sometimes one will call out a sibling saying, “You definitely made the Top Five today!” Others deem that they will remain bottom five always. It goes on and on. Honestly, it’s getting old.
So I have decided to tell my children how I really feel.
Dear Children,I’ve come to realize that none of you are my favorite and here’s why:
I’ve come to realize that none of you are my favorite and here’s why:
The reason why it takes me so long to fall asleep at night is because of you. Yes, I have insomnia because of you. I am up through the night thinking and worrying about you. I think of each and every one of you before I fall asleep and dammit I think of each and every one of you the moment I wake up.
You make me cry. If you didn’t know that before, you do. All kinds of tears – the long soulful type and the small droplets that still pierce the heart.
Okay, I may not remember each milestone perfectly and yes some of you have more photos and childhood mementos than others. It isn’t that I forgot about you – it’s that shit happens and we have iPhones now.
You frustrate and confuse me all the time. One moment I think I have it all figured out and then you change the rules. It takes time to perfect the right response or realize what to do.
You gang up on me. Oh my goodness. I’m just one person. Together you are a real live gang.
You were a surprise. Your arrival took me on a journey I could not have predicted.
I’ve lost years of my life worrying about you. There is always something to worry about.
I can say it was so much easier parenting you when you were younger – dirty diapers are not that tough. Navigating parenting older children? Well, that blog post is coming soon.
You nag me. Like right now, you keep nagging me about this crazy topic. Before I allow myself to get caught up in it much longer, let me tell you why you are my favorite child.
You seem to be bothered that I have favorites. I guess that means you like me a lot and maybe want me to pay more attention to you. Phew, because I was just thinking that you didn’t want me around.
You make me smile. I love seeing you. Hearing your voice. And I love talking to you. Yes, we don’t always have unlimited alone time and sometimes I appear too busy or wrapped up tapping keys on my computer. The times we do spend together are my most favorite times.
You are awesome. You alone are unique. You have a personal style, distinctive sense of humor, amazing passions and projects, and intense and captivating personality – all of you.
You were a surprise. You have taken me on an awesome journey that I could never have predicted. Everyday I am thankful for you and the journey we are on.
You have taught me so much. I have learned more from you then I could learn from a book or a YouTube how-to video. I love learning from you.
You make me laugh. I have spent more time laughing with my children one-on-one and together. I love to laugh.
You still make me cry but it’s mostly the healthy and happy kind of tears.
You made me a mom. Yes, the first gets the honor of bestowing me with the title. I am the first in my family too, so I get that the spot is unique. But then there is the second, and the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth. I realized with each of you that we have the capacity to love so deeply and our love actually expands. I had doubts it was possible to have enough love in me. This is the beauty of our story, with each of you my love only expanded and the feeling is incredible.
You are you. You are different from your brothers and sisters. I love YOU.
Now that this is all said I done, I realize that no matter what I say or write, the favorite child and Top Ten jokes will continue. I suppose while some of you tease, some may actually believe what you say to be true. On those days, read this over again and keep it for the future. If you are lucky enough to be a parent to a couple kids or more, you too will need to find some answers!
And to the children who remain doubters, yes, I parented differently with the first half of you. I was learning. I was younger. I loved rules and folded laundry, and toys that had homes in labeled bins. I could go on and on. The second half of you had a more laid back mother, however without three meals set out before you or mandatory summer school in the family room. Let’s just say it was all an experiment and still is, when I’m dead you can all debate, which half of you turned out better!
Dear children, the truth is out: You are my most favorite and absolutely in the Top Ten.
When Michele Fried founded Adoption STAR in 2000, she was using her entrepreneurial skills for a precious enterprise: she wanted to create forever families. Michele became a passionate advocate for adoption after she and her husband Chuck adopted their first child almost 29 years ago. Ten children later, Michele’s most important job is parenting. She frequently writes and speaks about adoption and parenthood.